Friday, September 30, 2011

Carmela Soprano's Cheese Puffs (appetizers)

Thanksgiving's coming.
You've got your main courses under control.

But, you need something for a bit of a nosh.
Something to serve with appetizers or after dinner fruit and cheese.

No problem.

In the Fit for a Bride chapter of Carmela's Entertaining with the Sopranos
there's a recipe for Cheese Puffs.  
They look so cute in the picture.
There's ham wrapped around breadsticks.  And bubbly!
Cheese Puffs are party animals. 

Just like the Cannelloni, Cheese Puffs can be prepared in advance. 
The raw mounds on the baking sheets can be covered with foil and 
refrigerated up to 24 hours before baking.

They can also be baked, cooled and stored:
Refrigerated up to 2 days
Frozen up to 2 months
Just cool and place in tightly sealed plastic bags.
Reheat, unthawed, on a baking sheet in a 350º oven.
Handy, no?

Carmela's editor added a little note at the top of the page.
Wedding Reception.
Yeah, well, don't just wait for a wedding to make these.

One of these days I'm going to e-mail that editor... 

                              Cheese Puffs 

Preheat oven to 400º
grease 2 large baking sheets

Put in a medium heavy saucepan over high heat
1 Cup water
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
Bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon until the butter is melted.

1 Cup flour
Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture pulls away 
from the sides of the pan.
Continue to cook and stir 1 minute more.
Remove the pan from the heat.

With a wooden spoon (or electric mixer on high speed) beat in one at a time
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
Beat well after each addition.

1 1/2 Cups grated Gruyere
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano)
Beat until blended.

Make small mounds, about 2 inches apart, on the baking sheets by scooping 
less than a tablespoon of the mixture, and using a second spoon to push the 
batter onto the sheets.
Dip your fingers into cold water and pat the mounds to round the tops.
Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. 
Serve warm or let cool on a rack.

Would I make Cheese Puffs again?
I bake them one sheet at a time.
Serving half cooled, the other half warm from the oven.
An easy way to let guests have a choice.
Happy Holidays!!

Another recipe down.  Two more to go.

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